4 Ways to Keep Your Eye On the Target in a Changing Social Media Adscape

4 Ways to Keep Your Eye On the Target in a Changing Social Media Adscape

Social media advertising is constantly evolving. Today’s social media advertisers face a double challenge: increasingly sophisticated algorithms from the social media platforms and a complex geopolitical landscape. Fear not, marketers! By understanding these shifts and employing smarter targeting strategies, the right audience can be reached with appropriate paid social campaigns.

The Algorithm Adversity

Social media platforms are constantly tweaking their algorithms to prioritize content that keeps users engaged. For instance, Facebook prioritizes content that sparks conversation, while Instagram rewards visually-appealing content with high engagement. This means generic ads competing with content from friends and family are less likely to show up in feeds. As of July 2023, the average engagement rate of an organic Facebook post ranges from 1.52-2.58%.[1]

Foreign Interference: A Wrench in the Works

Additionally, foreign actors spreading misinformation and manipulating elections have forced social media companies to tighten their belts on ad targeting. Stricter verification processes and limitations on targeting based on “sensitive” topics like relationship status, income, race, health, sexual orientation, religion or political affiliation are commonplace.

Reaching the Right Audience

While the landscape has gotten trickier, there are still ways to ensure your paid social media ads hit the mark:

  • Embrace Micro-Targeting: Gone are the days of broad demographics. Today’s social media ad platforms allow you to target audiences with laser focus based on a vast array of interests, behaviors, and online activity. Social platforms allow you to target users based on purchase history, visits to your website, and app usage.
  • Content is King (and Queen): Compelling content is the key to breaking through the algorithmic noise. Craft engaging content (blog posts, infographics, or videos) that resonates with your target audience and encourages interaction. Then, promote this content through paid social media campaigns to build brand awareness and trust.
  • Get Creative with Targeting Options: Many platforms offer advanced targeting features like look-a-likes, email matching, and geofencing which allows you to target users within a specific physical location. Consider using these features for location-specific promotions or events.
  • Partner with Micro-Influencers: Today’s consumers are savvier and more likely to trust recommendations from “everyday” people they follow. Partnering with micro influencers – those with smaller but highly engaged followings – can be a great way to reach a targeted audience. They often have higher engagement rates and tend to be more niche compared to larger-influencer followings, meaning their audience is likely to be relevant to your brand and interested in what the influencer talks about.[2]

The Takeaway

The social media advertising landscape is constantly evolving, but the core principle remains the same: deeply understand your audience and deliver real value. By staying nimble in your paid social strategies and updated on the latest targeting options, you can ensure your paid social media campaigns reach the right people at the right time.

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[1] https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-benchmarks/
[2] https://www.meltwater.com/en/blog/why-micro-influencers-matter